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Mayor John Tory commits to public meeting on ‘equality issues’

CityNews | posted Thursday, Apr 21st, 2016

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Mayor John Tory is promising to hold a public meeting on “equality issues” with community leaders, including members of Black Lives Matter.

In a statement released Wednesday, Tory says the city “still deals with issues of racial equality, discrimination and trust.”

Black Lives Matter Toronto says members plan on attending the meeting, pending more information on its format and focus. The group has repeatedly asked Tory for a meeting, however, up until now the mayor had only offered to meet with them behind closed doors.

“Had we taken those private meetings Mayor Tory earlier offered, this wouldn’t be happening now, so on one hand, I’m encouraged,” said Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Rodney Diverlus. “But I am not sure why the city would be reticent to having a focused discussion on anti-Black racism in policing. Avoiding the issue is anti-Blackness in itself.”

Co-founder Alexandria Williams adds, while the group is encouraged by the mayor’s announcement, they remain perplexed at his about-face after almost a year of demanding a public meeting.

“I’m hoping that Mayor Tory eventually gets it completely right,” said Williams. “Although it took the Mayor over a year of writing emails, shutting down highways and living outside to get to even this point, so to be honest, I’m not holding my breath.”

No date has yet been set for the meeting.

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